Wein: Fan-tom attendance at women’s games a mystery

Anne Boyd

Quick! Name three players on the Villanova women’s basketball team.

Now, quickly, what team did the girls play first and what was the score?

I would be willing to bet my Wildcard, plus all of the money in my checking account (about $300) that no more than half of the student population would be able to answer these relatively simple questions.

But, in case you did make an attempt – the three players could have been Katie Davis, Nicole Druckenmiller and Trish Juline.

These three make up the senior portion of the team. Of course, there are 12 other talented players to choose from.

The ‘Cats matched up against the Houston Jaguars for their first game of the season. The women put the Jaguars in their place, defeating them 62-54.

Now, the reason that the majority of the students on campus have no clue about the women’s basketball is because of the pathetic attendance at the games. To put it quite frankly, the number of students that show up to support the women’s basketball game is absolutely a disgrace to the school spirit that we pride ourselves on.

I know that men’s basketball is a bigger deal, however the women most certainly deserve equal respect.

While you may not bet on the team, or watch their games on TV, or even follow their standings in the tournament, the least you could do as a student at the University is make the walk to the Pavilion, have a seat and cheer the ladies on to a victory.

The difference in the number of fans that show up to women’s games as opposed to the men’s games really is disappointing. The men had an average of 7,275 fans at each game.

Overall in the 2001-2002 season, the men had 138,224 people cheer them on. Meanwhile, the women had an average of 1,603 people per a game, and a total of 20,841 in the season.

The women’s basketball team is just as good, if not better, than the men team in my opinion. I went to one of their practices and was only there for about 10 minutes. However, in that short time span I was awestruck by their intensity, talent, teamwork, spirit, strength and dedication.

During the scrimmage the girls were obviously working together and capitalizing on every opportunity. After their exhausting practice, the girls had to wrap things up with some suicides.

As they sprinted up and down the court you could see the intensity and strength as each player drove herself to the very end of the practice.

Statistically speaking, the women have the upper hand over the guys in several aspects of the game:

Now, I am not trying to put the guys down, they are an amazing group of athletes too, however, both teams are so equal in statistics, so why are they getting such an unequal amount of support? The girls’ team is ranked number four in the 2002-2003 Big East preseason poll. This alone should be incentive to come watch the girls play a couple of games.

Not only are the women getting pushed aside compared to the men, but also compared to other school around the nation.

For example, at ‘Nova’s game against the University of Oklahoma last season, there were 11,245 fans in attendance. This is the largest crowd to watch a women’s game in the state of Oklahoma. In addition, the UConn Huskies are ranked only one notch above the Wildcats in the Big East preseason poll with the No. 3 spot.

Despite this small gap in rankings, last year the Huskies brought in 218,088 fans overall, giving them an average 12,116 a game. This put’s our numbers to shame, especially considering the ‘Nova girls have made it to NCAA tournament two years in a row, making it the second round both times.

These girls are an extremely talented bunch of athletes that deserve more credit than they get.

So give it a try, keep an eye on the schedule and next time there’s a game, make the short walk over to the Pavilion and cheer the girls on. Besides the fact that you might actually be surprised and enjoy yourself, supportive fans in the stands really motivates a team, and can really make the difference in a close game.